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Oral history interview with Michel Reynders

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0415 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0373

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Michel Reynders, born on June 29, 1930, in Uccle, Belgium, describes his experiences as the nephew of Father Bruno Reynders, who ran a rescue network that saved about 350 Jews; growing up in a tight-knit Catholic family; helping Father Bruno in his efforts to hide Jewish children by coercing local families to take them into their homes; being unaware of antisemitism until the war; helping a young girl who had fled from Fascist Italy; the German occupation and the following food shortages, imposed curfews, censored textbooks, and Jewish transports out of Belgium; beginning to observe the restrictions placed on Jewish neighbors in 1942 and realizing that it was primarily Jews who were being taken for forced labor in Germany; his introduction to the resistance movement around the end of 1942 and serving as an escort and messenger for his uncle's rescue service; initially having no idea that the children his uncle asked him to escort were Jewish or that Father Bruno was secretly hiding them throughout Belgium; eventually understanding what his family was doing and that his uncle's actions were secret and extremely risky; his family's decision to hide several Jews; graduating from medical school in 1959 and immigrating to the United States in 1961; and being named as the Honorary Vice-Consul of Belgium.

Interviewee
Michel Reynders
Interviewer
Randy M. Goldman
Date
1996 August 05  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
7 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:15:16
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn504866